back to article French Googleslayer gets the green light

The European Commission this week approved the aid of €99m to France with the aim to build a Google killer called QUAERO. The project leaders promise an advanced multimedia search engine and tools for translating, identifying and indexing images, sound and text. QUAERO - Latin for "I search" - was launched as part of the work …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    waste of fuckin money. its basic europe not trusting the us with data bollox :(

  2. E


    Two points:

    1) Who would call an internet company 'QUAERO'? Only a bureaucrat. Internet companies are supposed to have artificial words for names, or words that have nothing to do with the company's business activities.

    2) “We haven't done much in the past two years, to be honest."

    Well, there's some initiative for ya! It's a wonder that this project is not drowning in an ocean of funding!

  3. Tanuki
    Paris Hilton

    C'est pour La France?

    So if it's in French, this of course means that "Paris Hilton" automatically gets a spectacularly high ranking in the thing's image-search.

    Oh, I get it, "QUAERO" is just covert Eurospeak for 'Pornfinder Professional 2.0'

  4. andy
    Thumb Down

    er, how do you say that?

    QUAERO...Doesnt exactly slip off the tongue...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Say what...?

    a) How many people are going to be able to remember how to spell www.quero... er.. www.queao..., sorry, www.qearo... oh stuff that...

    b) Unlikely to get a lot of take up from the teenage section of society... "Oh you use the queer-o website do you...", nudge, wink, snigger.

  6. James Le Cuirot

    How do you pronounce it?

    I want a definitive answer on how you pronounce it because I have a horrible feeling that it will sound very similar to my name.

  7. johnb

    State not EU aid

    The EU isn't giving €99m of aid to Quaero. It is allowing France to give €99m of state aid to the consortium. Last summer the Theseus project was allowed €120m of German state aid. Petty cash for the likes of Google and Yahoo.

    Yahoo today announced it is embracing semantic web standards so that will probably be enough to kill Theseus. How long before Google announce yet another beta product?

  8. Colonel Panic
    Thumb Up

    It will be useful....

    So you can search for what happened to all your tax money they trousered on the equally necessary GPS-alike Galileo project.

    Or to look up the winners of the that other shining example of European cooperation - the Eurovision Song Contest

  9. mixbsd

    Your tax-euros at work

    Why don't they just call it "QUANGO"? Seems to be about as useful as one.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Say what...?

    "How many people are going to be able to remember how to spell www.quero... "

    Let them eat google.

  11. Veig
    Jobs Horns

    How would you say "bring on the pork barrel" in French ?

    Maybe "fetchez le cochon ?"

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't you...

    ... like to search for things by uploading a picture? I think QUAERO will be better than google in the next five years.

    By the way, QUAERO is not hard to remember or write... And it's easier to pronounce than Google for the chinese, because it has got no two followed consonants. :P

  13. William saywell

    Quis quaeres quaerientes?

    If you can't remember the spelling - you could always Google it!

  14. yeah, right.


    Now this is definitely a prime example of kickbacks galore for well-connected people and companies. I guess no matter which country you go to (US, France, etc.) it's all about kickbacks and pork barrels.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Cheese eating surrender monkeys

    They are still upset of the Joke of putting "french miltary victories" into google and hitting I'm feeling lucky.

    An Oldie but a classic.

  16. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    "Yahoo today announced it is embracing semantic web standards so that will probably be enough to kill Theseus."

    It's probably changing the subject (but El Reg don't seem to have picked up on the story) but when I heard about Yahoo pinning their hopes on the semantic web I just laughed. The reason none of these search engines work so well nowadays is that half the sites on the planet are lying to the spiders. Basing a search engine on semantic mark-up will *increase* its vulnerability to such techniques. Yahoo have basically promised to pimp their search results to every ad-broker and spammer on the planet. That's not going to kill Theseus. It might kill Yahoo, though.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Typical continental Europe, they (we) don't get that there's a difference between branding and finding some Greek goddess or Latin word that has a vague, "pour le connaisseur" relationship to what they're doing.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: If you can't remember the spelling - you could always Google it!

    ... or scroogle it.

  19. Daniel B.

    Saying Quaero

    Hm... maybe speaking English and Spanish helps, but I didn't find it too hard:


    though I think it has that ugly "AE" thingy so it might be "coo-errow" ... which would be funny as it sounds like Spanish "cuero" (Leather, but also slang for "skin", or "good looking".)

    Fortunately Spanish has ditched the "ae" combined-letter in writing, so I don't have to bear "pAEdophile", "encyclopAEdia", and other thingies that annoy me in writing...

  20. greg


    So now you Brits may have a vague idea of the root of words like

    quest, request, querry, and al...

    English do contain many latin derivated words, after all :)

  21. Tom Willis
    Dead Vulture

    I Seek

    In Latin, that is - I'd pronounce that <kwai-row> to rhyme with Biro, but since there is no one accepted pronounciation of Latin extant then YMMV.

    It is a bit French ENARCist to use a Latin word there, isn't it? A bit nudge-nudge we're so much more cultured than les Anglos. Sadly for them, as noted above, that means many anglos will studiously avoid their project, although perhaps that will be its own source of satisfaction for any elitists there might be around.

    This whole Brits-don't-speak-languages bit is getting on my tits though. I learnt English, Latin, Attic Greek, French and Russian at school in England, before then Malay and Chinese, and since then Swedish and Dutch, some dabblings in Estonian, Finnish and Hungarian, a bit of Esperanto and Interlingua, not to mention many computer languages - not bad for a Brit Engineer maybe? So, when taking a taxi in Milan whose driver only speaks the local variant of Italian I try Latin, Greek, English, French, Swedish and am still considered a doltish monoglot Anglo moron by the infinitely more cultured driver (but then Italian is the only glossis one needs, hein?). (Sarcasm alert for the culturally challenged.)

    Anyway to misquote:

    "So now you Brits may have a vague idea of the root of words like

    quest, request, query, et al...

    English does contain many Latin-derived words, after all :)"

    Quite so, and the Oxford English Dictionary, that exceptional piece of learning, tells us so and much more besides. Thanks for sharing your prejudices.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pork barrels

    The French equivalent of 'pork barrel' is, unsurprisingly, "pots de vin".

    As for quaero, is already taken, and who's going to remember ?

  23. greg

    @Tom Willis

    Hello there,

    you probably missed the point I was trying to have.

    And I probably did try to make it in a very bad way.

    I was a bit amused that most first comments had not much to do with the content of the article, but only focused on the name of the project.

    I also didn't know there could be any thing like "Brits-don't-know-languages" reputation or a-priori, mind you, I learnt this from your answer.

    Had I knew there was anything like this, I would have chose an other way to comment.

    So, here I present you all Brits my sincere apologizes if you felt insulted by my comment. It was not in any way my purpose.

    My only purpose was and still is, why make so much fun of the name of the project and not comment purely on the project itself ?

    By the way, the choice of a Latin name is a good choice at least for one political reason : it won't be related to one particuliar member of the project's team.

    Thus probably the latin name for the european GPS clone...

    Now, we could maybe comment on why it may be a good point to not put all your eggs in the same basket, and why such a project may well be needed...

    I have nothing for or against Google, but the day they are the only player left I will have something against them, for sure.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And for my next waste of money...

    Let's chuck some Eurocash at developing the steam engine - it would be about as much use...

  25. Anonymous Coward

    The reason seems to elude you when you go on about pork barrels

    There is a valid reason for developing Quaero. English is an isolating language so search is relatively easy. French is inflecting, so to look for the adjective 'beautiful' you would need to look for beau bel belle beaux belle etc. If a noun is irregular you need to include the singular and plural (top of head travail/travaux or invité/invités/invitée/invitées), where the brute force mechanism of Google fails. If you look on Persee, which is a French-language academic search engine, 'travail' gives you 269 results, 'travaux' gives you a separate set of 355 results. In English on Jstor 'work' gets you the lot

    Finding complex ideas in French and other European languages can be quite tricky on Google.

  26. David

    Yep, €99m will kill Google

    If that were the case then, why is Microsoft spending 44 billion on Yahoo if it only takes €99m to kill Google.


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